By Peter Egwuatu
As individuals and businesses grapple with the challenges of moving ahead in life, it becomes imperative for banks to introduce products specially tailored to meet their specific needs. This is perhaps one of the most unique features of the emerging face of the Nigerian banking sector.
For instance, consider this scenario: James Osahon is a budding entrepreneur with huge dreams. Although his business is destined for great heights, he needs to cross the hurdle of getting financial backing to realise his dreams.
Who does James turn to? Okey, a high flying telecoms executive is renowned for keeping his bills in check. An unexpected event requiring extra-budgetary expenses suddenly came up, and payday is nowhere in sight. Who does Okey turn to?
The nation’s financial institutions are increasingly responding to these challenges with specialised products that empower customers to literally reach for their dreams.
For over a century, First Bank of Nigeria Plc has led the sector in a continuing process of always seeking financial solutions and providing financial intelligence for the banking public.
The bank has maintained a close connection with its customers through its rich suite of specialised products and services aimed at meeting the peculiar needs of every customer.
In addition to ensuring customer satisfaction, the bank’s products empower individuals and small businesses to achieve seamless financial planning towards realising their dreams for a brighter future.
It is quite commendable that over the years, the bank has progressively demonstrated that its product offering transcends the regular lending, deposits, trade and treasury products, to the development of financial solutions that enable business owners serve their clients efficiently.
This ultimately empowers them to make informed financial decisions for sustained business success.
In 2006, the bank launched the “UFirst” suite of products, “to improve the quality of life and well-being of our customers by providing the best Retail and Consumer Banking Services in a socially responsible and profitable manner.”
UFirst is a set of homogeneous loans targeted at individuals and small & medium enterprises (SMEs). The set targeted at individuals are classified as Consumer Products while those targeted at SMEs and entrepreneurs are classified as Retail Products.
Currently enjoying wide acclaim in the sector, FirstBank’s Retail and Consumer “UFirst Loans” empower individuals and businesses to acquire assets and meet other financial needs at the best possible terms.
These include The Personal Loan against Salary for individuals in paid employment; Auto & Asset finance Loans for individuals and SMEs to purchase vehicles, office and household equipment, and Short-term Loans & Overdrafts for SMEs to meet their business expansion and working capital requirements, among others.
Available throughout the bank’s branches nationwide, the bank’s “UFirst” products come with flexible and favourable terms and conditions which are constantly reviewed to meet customers’ changing demands.
Some of the products under the “UFirst” umbrella include Auto Loan, which provides part-finance facility for the purchase of automobiles for individuals. New automobiles are financed from First Bank approved vendors.
For Asset Acquisition, it provides part-finance facility to individuals for the purchase of household equipment such as electronics.
On its Secured Short-Term Loan, the bank provides finance for retail customers to meet business and expansion needs. On its secured short-term overdraft, the bank gives facility to retail customers to augment working capital.
Concerning LPO Finance, the bank provides a structured & controllable mechanism through which it can provide finance for small and medium sized businesses.